To varying degrees, directors are like any of us film fans. Except, often, their fandom goes above and beyond what we're willing to offer to sweet lady cinema. They showed commitment to the craft that goes some way to explaining how they came to become a household name in their profession. Many of them studied at the most prestigious colleges for film and supported what they learned in the lecture hall with studious extra-curricular work.
With this in mind, it's no wonder that the best directors pay tribute to the masters that they learned from. Some wear their tributes on their sleeve while others prefer a discreet tip of the hat. It's not always easy to insert a reference to a famous film without stopping traffic but we've tried to source a few instances that may have been overlooked. Not all of them are accomplished with the stealth of a ninja master but we appreciate them nonetheless.
Here are ten times that movies paid respect to their predecessors.
10. Maverick Homaging Lethal Weapon
A buddy cop pairing that spawned the Lethal Weapon franchise, Mel Gibson's Riggs and Danny Glover's Murtaugh make a great on-screen team. Richard Donner, whose previous work included The Omen and Superman, struck gold when he directed the duo bicker and bond as they stopped bad guys. They were always entertaining. The chemistry of Gibson and Glover figured into Donner's thinking when he was directing Maverick in 1994.
A comedy-western about a con artist who hustles money in order to join a high-stakes poker game, Maverick reunited Donner with Gibson, who would play the titular character. Also starring Jodie Foster and James Garner, Maverick boasted enough star power to persuade audiences to help it to box-office success. Cinemagoers would have been aware of the Lethal Weapon connection with Donner and Gibson before going to see the movie.
However, the cameo appearance of Glover was not something that was publicised prior to its release. He plays the leader of a group of bank robbers who rob a bank that Gibson's Bret Maverick is in. His face covered, Glover's unnamed robber successfully steals a load of cash before Maverick pulls his bandana down. The momentary reveal is quickly covered back up by Glover who turns to scorn Gibson before stopping to examine his face. The pair recognise but can't quite place each other, the Lethal Weapon theme playing all the while.
While it isn't the most subtle in execution, it is an unexpected and crowd-pleasing nod. It fits the silly tone of the movie. Although Glover's utterance of Murtaugh's "I'm getting too old for this s**t" catchphrase may be overkill.